The Bells of Hope
Hell, believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams.
If you don't, who will?”
Jon Bon Jovi
As they say.... It’s that time of year...for reflection and remembrances.
I was blessed with two sweet girls learning and living along my caregiving journey. One of our nightly rituals, regardless of our day, was snuggling in bed, slowing down, recounting our highs and lows, and lastly, reading together until one of us drifted to sleep. During the holidays, we chose from a special book collection of our beloved favorites ranging from Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree to The Snow Globe Family. Each book we connected with, whether it be the bright, colorful illustrations or the imaginable fun that was shared. However, year after year, turning upon the last few pages of The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, a lump forms in my throat and tears swell my eyes. My daughters always noticed a shift in my tone; an innocuous account of a boy challenging his sense of belief and his adventure should hardly be cause for such emotion. It was and truth be told still stirs an inner part of my soul. The black and white typed words on the last page continue to spark an unforgettable feeling.
“At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for them.
Growing old and wiser… the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.”
These words continue to serve as a gentle reminder to try to see the good. I try as a mom to teach my children to believe that things would be okay in life, maybe not what we expected, but that we would be alright. I asked them for absolute belief. Faith in love is a simple yet monumental task all in one. To not quit believing can be incredibly difficult. Believing and trying to hear the sweet sounds of life, as faint as they might be when caring for someone with a progressive disease, presents challenges. I held on to those words through the darkest of nights as a care partner. There’s a bigger lesson for us in this simple children's tale: to hear the bells of hope. When positive, more positivity joins and reduces stress, and increases love. Have enough stillness to hear the bell. When the bell is ringing, you must be quiet enough to believe in the sound and enjoy the little moments that come after it.
Memories and moments are in the making. Try to capture and believe this is your path; listen for the sound of hope as faint as it may be.